Friday, October 2, 2009

A priest and a platypus walk into a bar...

I swear that I try to be normal. I drive a non-descript piece of questionable automotive stuff. I live in a little house on a side street. In my free time, I like to read novels, watch movies, go out to eat, etc. I watch television. I try to exercise everyday. I even eat vegetables.

I try not to stick out. I speak with even tones. I don’t lose my temper. I am not prone to crying fits. I am cordial and humorous. I brush my hair. I take showers. I brush my teeth. I joined the Junior League (I have a membership card to prove it).

And yet, I am not normal, am I? I believe that a 2000 year old Hebrew man, who wandered around Palestine with a bunch of other men, chit chatting with weirdos, healing the sick, died and rose from the dead, is indeed the Son of God and God. I look for this man in other people and in my life. I believe that a mysterious Spirit moves in the world. It, too, is God.

I try to follow what this man said and how he lived. I believe that I can hear the “Lord” speaking to me in my life. I see miracles. I believe that life has a purpose, and that there exists a world beyond this world. I think that in my body is a soul. I lead worship where angels and men come together to kneel before the Almighty. Heaven is elsewhere and here. I pray, and I believe that someone is listening.

Yep, I would say that this is odd. I want to make my faith, what I believe, what I hope to live seem everyday, normal or ordinary. I don’t want people to think that I am crazy. I don’t want to stick out, but I do. I have to stick out.

Being a priest, being a follower of Christ makes you stick out. I used to feel uncomfortable going into a restaurant or bar with my collar on because inevitably it led to weird looks or strange comments. But then again, I am weird and strange. If a platypus walked into a restaurant or bar with a collar on, I would have to give her a weird look or make a strange comment too. People recognize that faith, and those who work in the faith realm, is something totally other. You do not see this sort of stuff everyday.

Faith is unusual. Faith is uncomfortable. We talk about what cannot be seen nor heard, but it can be felt. We walk on the edge of this world and an unseen world. There is no proof.

Try as I might to fit in. Try as I might for my life to be normal or ordinary, it is not. A life of faith is extraordinary and outrageous. Faith leads us away from what is always to what could be, a life of possibilities and impossibilities.